WAGRAU Stories

Deborah’s Story

Attorney Deborah Akello, Founder and Director of WAGRAU My Name is Deborah Akello.  I am an attorney, and to understand my career choice, and later the driving force behind the establishment of WAGRAU, allow me tell you a small story about myself. I was born in a family of 7 children, myself being the 6th Child. While my mother was working as a cleaning lady at a government office, the district chief of staff had an affair with her. When she became pregnant he had her fired. My mother had no other means of sustaining her livelihood so she returned to...

Short Term Shelter – Akello Barbara’s Story

“We need more investment in women’s organizations, better legislation, prosecution of perpetrators, more services for survivors, and training for law enforcement officials” - United Nations Akello Barbara in pink after the birth of her son at WAGRAU 16 year old Akello Barbara showed up at the WAGRAU offices one afternoon desperate, having been kicked out of her family home for becoming pregnant. She was immediately rushed to the clinic for stitches as she had been beaten by her father - so much so that she had lacerations on her head and body.   In rural Uganda it is customary for a groom’s...

Training to Help Ugandan Girls Thrive

Friends, we are more than excited to share with you pictures of our amazing group of young women and girls who for reasons such as cultural discrimination of girl child education, forced marriage, limitations of resources (poverty) are attending a 6-9 months tailoring class so as to be economically independent and self sufficient. The program is open to out of school young women and teenage girls who are at risk of pregnancy/ forced early marriage, sexual and labour exploitation from a highly patriarchal community. We provide vocational, business and life skills training opportunities aimed at enabling the girls to set...

Judith’s Story

On Friday evening a very pregnant woman walked into our office asking for help. She’d traveled eight kilometers (nearly 5 miles) on foot, alone.  She introduced herself as Judith, and at 29 years old this was the 8th child she was expecting.  Judith had been chased out of her own home by her husband who had brought his mistress home with him. We learned that Judith had spent 4 days and nights hiding in the bush before sneaking back to grab a few things from home, dressing and walking to WAGRAU. Judith wanted help pressing charges against her husband.  As...

Enid’s Story

‘Certain forms of Violations against one’s body are deeper than others yet one thing remains true, they all hurt’. This was the response I got from Enid as I stood helpless and speechless upon hearing her story. Enid underwent humiliation and degradation as she was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM), an ancient practice that has since been outlawed yet is still practiced in secret. The practice is carried out by traditional unskilled ‘experts’. The knives used are unsterilized and no anesthetic is used.  Therefore Enid and many other girls who undergo this ritual ‘face the knife’ (as the community...

Jajja’s Story

Jajja is a title of respect given to an elderly person. Though Jajja does not remember exactly how old she is, conversations she had with community members puts her age between 80-85. Jajja has lived in the community of Bajjo for over 50 years since she married at 17-20 years old. In a country where polygomy is still common, Jajja was one of the ‘lucky’ elderly women, she was the only ‘woman of the home’ as locals put it. Her husband never had a wife before and never officially brought home another woman. According to Jajja, she doesn’t recall any...

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You have the ability to GIVE a woman the POWER to stand up for herself. We will be your boots on the ground providing free legal representation to marginalized women and girls, and giving them the tools they need to claim HUMAN RIGHTS for themselves.